How To Grow Compassion: A White-Board Exercise Anyone Can Use

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sometimes, in the process of growth & change, the experience reveals some negative behaviours in others around you. One of the best virtues & qualities to call on at a time like this is Compassion. I like what Richard Hastings says about using Compassion to deepen your relationships with others. He suggests:

The work with compassion is what I call doing a whiteboard exercise.   On one side you put the positive qualities of the person, and on the other you put the negative.    Compassion means that you understand that the person has negative aspects that have an origin that is usually based in trauma.  If you had a family member up there you could see the positive and negative.   Compassion does not mean that because you are understanding and see the origins that you are necessarily free to relate to them.    The negative has to be understood with wisdom and then the actions become clear.  (R. Hastings 2017)

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Vegetables growing in a garden is a good metaphor for developing new virtues. You plant the seeds, which are like small positive actions, and watch the relationship grow. It’s fantastic!

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